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Cycling

Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 6:26 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine Conservative, Winchester 6:26 pm, 2nd September 2013

I will not if the hon. Lady does not mind.

I have one opportunity in my constituency right now where the developer, CALA Homes, has permission for 2,000 houses on the highly controversial—to put it mildly—Barton farm site. The developer was an early recipient of a copy of this report, and my challenge today is this: “Make us proud of your development at Barton farm. Put cycling at the heart of your development, not just in new cycle routes into and through the area, but by linking up with existing cycle connections. You will make a lot of people very pleased with you, after gathering planning permission in the way you did.”

The report also states that local authorities should seek to deliver cycle-friendly improvements across existing roads, including small improvements and segregated routes. Of course they should. I am not a dyed-in-the-lycra person on this—imagine! I am realistic: Winchester’s ancient Saxon streets will not suddenly all have segregated cycle routes, but there are great opportunities in my constituency to do that.

Finally, the Highways Agency should draw up a programme to remove the barriers to cycling. Junction 9 of the M3, which the Minister knows, has received significant Government funding for pinch-point improvements that will be done later this year. We are increasing two lanes to three and bringing traffic closer to cyclists, which seems a missed opportunity. Therefore, my other challenge to the Minister and the Highways Agency is to see whether we can look again at junction 9 of the M3 on the edge of my constituency and come up with something that is a compromise for cyclists and for drivers.

In conclusion, the report is about getting Britain cycling and much good stuff is taking place in my constituency and across the country. The VC Venta cycling club in Winchester has seen its membership rise by 300% since the Olympics, and the Winchester CycleFest this summer, which culminated in the Criterium high-speed cycle race through Winchester on 11 August, was fantastic. “Get Britain Cycling”—yes, we are doing it, but we must scale it up and this report is part of the blueprint for how we do that.